Cortijo el Puerto
Our dream at Cortijo el Puerto: create an agricultural community where living beings exist in perfect harmony! A sustainable farm where flora and fauna coexist to produce organic food of high nutritional value: oil, almond, etc. Reckoning and perceiving Bi
odiversity as a vital element of sustainable agricultur e.
We promote biodiversity and soil quality. Soil and health are the foundation for all agriculture and natural plant communities at Cortijo El Puerto and also a basic indicator of sustainable land management. The farm extends over two hundred and twelve hectares and houses one hundred thousand shrubs in its perimeter. There’s a two hundred and eighty thousand plus, ecological tree hedgerow system; it is protected by a cover of vegetation.
Flora, Fauna and Habitat share together in mutual empathy within this ecosystem.
Biodiversity is the Master key at Cortijo El Puerto!
A luxury resort for all our fauna
In Cortijo el Puerto we have prepared spaces for different species, both our indigenous and non-native species. We want visiting birds to reduce their temporary stay and nest regularly in our natural refuges. We are experts in building sustainable habitats. We have “five-star hotels” for insects; friendly plant covers where mammals and birds can enjoy their “favourite menu” at ecological “restaurants” (for example nectar and pollen; hives for Bombus terrestris bumblebees; nest boxes and natural refuges for birds; mobile poultry houses; donkey and cattle stables; breeding ponds for amphibians, ducks and other aquatic species.
In short, excellent facilities and services, and with the advantages of the All-Inclusive. The best habitat our customers have ever dreamed of!
PONDS “Multitasking” Ponds
First, they offer shelter to aquatic species: amphibians (frogs, toads), fish, ducks, geese, and turtles. They are designed with a central island that is decorative but also protects birds from possible predators. Second, they serve as collection points for clean water, in order to supply insects and other animals on the farm with fresh water all year round. This is possible thanks to a system of pipelines through which rainwater circulates and flows into our ponds, after having been purified with biological filters.
Let us take care of our water, the most abundant component of the earth’s surface!
HOTELS FOR INSECTS Our guests, our reason for being
To get in touch with the ecology around us we observe and invite beneficial insects by building them a special habitat at Cortijo el Puerto. We build these “hotels” with natural materials from Sierra Norte de Sevilla, without using chemical treatment adapting different shapes and sizes, always providing insects with nesting facilities . We have a network of fourteen Hotels for insects strategically distributed throughout the farm. We offer a wide range of rooms according to the needs of our “costumers”: bamboo, wood, and bricks with holes to provide accommodation for bees, bumblebees and wasps; a variety of bug-friendly materials like straw, cork, sticks,bamboo or pinecones that allow ladybugs to acclimatise and stay during the winter; for delicate butterflies and lacewings, we provide closed boxes full of straw with an entrance groove and pots rotated full of fiber for earwigs. We also have year-round bee hives, including those designed specifically for our Bombus terrestris bumblebees during their periods of maximum pollination.
The accommodations are oriented to the south so that the warmth of the Andalusian sun can offer all kind of “birth facilities” for future generations Genuine “five star hotels” for insects!
BEEHIVES Our “deal” with bees
In Cortijo el Puerto, we have negotiated a natural year-round exchange with bees, our pollinating insects par excellence. We provide them with shelter in beehives (a common hostel for the colonies of worker bees and drones, with a special suite for the queen bee); we also offer them food: nectar and pollen from the ecological “restaurants” of the flower beds on our vegetation cover.For the Bombus terrestris bumblebees, our allies and experts in pollination under adverse conditions, we provide temporary hives at times of maximum flowering. In return, these insects pollinate the olive groves, the self-fertilizing varieties of almond trees, increasing the flora and the quality and quantity of our crops. We also obtain jars of delicious honey for consumption, as well as pollen, natural wax, and royal jelly. A logical deal for us, and the best possible Bed and Breakfast for the bees!
NATURAL SHELTERS Natural Accommodations
The quantity and variety of vegetal species at Cortijo el Puerto farm creates a perfect natural framework for animals that need temporary shelter. This is especially true for some types of birds, which take advantage of the grasses and soft materials of the plant covers to build their nests. We want to offer them the best natural dwellings, to strengthen their nests and promote nesting in colonies … We are committed to the birth and breeding of new generations in Cortijo el Puerto: a maternity ward for birds!
The flora at Cortijo el Puerto (trees, shrubs and vegetation cover) are the backbone of the farm, the basis of our ecosystem. All plants are prepared to capture solar energy, thereby feeding other species, increasing pollination and producing healthy food (olive oil and almonds) for human consumption. In the end of the cycle, our herd of Cornicabra sheep clears the vegetation cover and we return the organic matter to the soil, helping decomposition and mantaining this life cycle of the food chain.
In order to obtain the best results for our flora, we have analyzed the whole surface of the land to be cultivated, studied the essence of the soil, planted wood crops using GPS, and sought the most favorable plant associations for the vegetation cover.
Vegetation cover fulfills four objectives:
First, it covers 100% of the surface of the farm, nourishing the soil
Second, staggered flowering: we have chosen flowers that bloom throughout the year, in order to help the farm’s fauna
Third, it promotes biodiversity
Fourth, it attracts outside wildlife and avoid contamination of neighbouring farms.
Cortijo el Puerto is located in the area of Lora del Río, on the right bank of the Guadalquivir River, northeast of Seville. Lora has been identified with the Axatiana mentioned by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder. The town was taken from the Moors by Ferdinand III of Castile (1243), who gave it to the Knights of Malta. In this landscape, there are abundant steppe species such as the hawksbill, the common lark, as well as other aquatic species closer to the Vega such as mallards and herons, with examples such as kingfisher or the bee-eater bird. On the farm itself, some animal species live there all year round, such as owls, billiard birds, hares, partridges or quail; these all cohabit, increasing the natural balance and biodiversity at Cortijo El Puerto. The “native” avifauna (birds, mammals, reptiles, insects) increases and is related to the area. In addition we have invited native Utrera hens, donkeys in danger of extinction, and Merino sheep to live with us on the farm, not forgetting the ducks, geese and other aquatic species that share our ponds.